Benefits & Types

Although not every position can take advantage of these arrangements, there are often a variety of ways that flexibility can be customized to work for both the department and the individual. Flexible Work Arrangements requests may be motivated by personal or work-related reasons and may take many forms. 

Benefits of Flexible Work Arrangements

The benefits of these arrangements have been validated by global surveys and academic field research and acknowledged by Dartmouth employees and supervisors in departments in which FWA are already in place.

  • Increases job performance and productivity: Employees have more awareness than anyone else about when, where, and how they work at their best. When employees have more control over their own work and maintain a healthy balance of work-related and personal commitments, they are more focused, creative, efficient, and productive. Studies have shown that flexible work arrangements substantially reduce the number of unplanned absences and increase job engagement. Flexible work arrangements may also enable employees to continue their education, which may help them develop and improve their job skills and competencies.
  • Builds and fosters a culture of trust and autonomy: The successful implementation of flexible work arrangements often requires open and honest communication among team members. In these cases, a culture of trust develops and is reinforced within the team. Additionally, the autonomy given to the employee provides a key driver of job satisfaction.
  • Promotes diversity and inclusivity: The availability of flexible work arrangements may remove barriers to job seekers and employees who may not otherwise apply for a Dartmouth job or remain in a position. 
  • Helps the environment and office space utilization: Some types of flexible work arrangements, such as compressed workweeks and remote work, reduce carbon emissions because employees are driving less. Adjustments to work start and end times may enable an employee to use public transportation or to participate in a ride-sharing arrangement, which also conserves energy. Job-sharing and remote work may also reduce a department’s office footprint or open office space for other uses.
  • Enhances recruitment and retention: In an increasingly competitive market for talent, flexible work arrangements can further distinguish Dartmouth as a progressive and innovative employer. On an individual basis, the benefit of retaining an employee by utilizing a flexible work arrangement is obvious. Flexible work arrangements provide the necessary flexibility for prospective employees that are qualified but living in a different location not within a reasonable commute to Dartmouth. 

In addition to the benefits of a flexible work arrangement, employees and supervisors who are making and reviewing requests must also carefully consider the arrangement’s operational impact and its ability to support high performance by both the employee and the department.

Reasons That May Drive a Request

Personal Commitments and Reasons

While every employee’s situation is unique, there are some common themes which may give rise to a request for a flexible work arrangement. Some examples include:

  • transportation (bus schedules, ride-sharing arrangements, commuting time), 
  • family matters (delivering and collecting children from school or day care, elder care considerations), 
  • health and wellness activities (utilization of fitness facilities or physical therapy programs), or
  • other personal goals (volunteerism, or continuing training and education).

Work-related Reasons

Employees or their supervisor may also consider a flexible work arrangement for work-related reasons. For instance:

  • An employee’s position may require periods of uninterrupted concentration, such as writing, planning, data entry, or programming. The employee may perform these tasks better and more productively working at other times, or at a remote location. 
  • Space constraints or the desire to retain employees may also lead employers to encourage FWA for their employees.
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